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Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: River Kwai & World War II Memorials

Tour description

Kanchanaburi evokes visions of scenic and serene beauty but mainly is known for its connection to World War II and the infamous River Kwai Bridge and the 'Death Railway'. Visits to the World War II cemetery and museum, as well as a ride on the 'Death Railway' bring to mind the fate of Allied POWs who laboured here under the most inhuman conditions. Spend the night at the Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa nestled on the banks of the Kwai River and experience a kaleidoscope of local colour.

01MIDBKK-J River Kwai & World War II Memorials

Offered on Voyage 4505

Departure: Bangkok, March 2, 2015

Duration: 1.5 Days / 1 Night

Re-join ship: Bangkok, March 3, 2015

Reserve by: November 25, 2014

This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by November 1, 2014. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis and the programme price is subject to change. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing.  A minimum number of participants is required to operate this programme.  

This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure offers a historic look at the River Kwai's premier attractions, mainly the War Cemetery, the JEATH Museum, a ride on the 'Death Railway', and the Muang Sing Historical Park. An overnight stay and complimentary in-house Thai traditional massage at the Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa evokes the atmosphere of a bygone Colonial era.

A visit to Kanchanaburi offers both scenic and serene natural beauty. But for many travellers the main draw is its link to the Second World War and the world famous River Kwai Bridge memorised in numerous books and films. The two-day programme includes the area's premier attractions, mainly the War Cemetery, the JEATH Museum, a ride on the 'Death Railway', and the Muang Sing Historical Park. An overnight stay at the Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa evokes the atmosphere of a bygone Colonial era

DAY ONE - Monday, March 2, 2015 - Bangkok/Kanchanaburi/River Kwai  

Depart from Klong Toey pier and travel for approximately two and a half hours to the town of Kanchanaburi, gateway to the famous River Kwai. Set in a landscape of limestone hills, the town is most famous for its World War II role as POW camp and as base for the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway. The 257-mile (415-km) railway, ordered by the Japanese to be built during World War II was to facilitate their forces in the Burma Campaign. Other World War II memorials include a museum and war cemeteries.

Arriving into Kanchanaburi, your first stop is at the Don Rak War Cemetery. Here, almost 7,000 POWs, who perished during the construction of the River Kwai Bridge and the 'Death Railway', found their final resting place. Today, the cemetery is lovingly maintained by local volunteers and the graves are decorated with colourful flowers.

Next, stop at the Thai-Burmese Railway Centre across from the cemetery. This attractive facility contains a small railway museum, souvenir shop, cafeteria and restrooms.  

Re-join your coach and head to the five-star Dheva Mantra Resort for lunch and check-in. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and overlooking the Kwai River, the hotel offers deluxe accommodations that evoke the beauty of a bygone colonial era.

After lunch, drive to Muang Sing Historical Park and visit some of the major monuments within the ancient walled city of Muang Sing dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. The architectural style of the temple ruins indicates the relationship between Muang Sing and the ancient Khmer Kingdom. Covered for centuries by dense vegetation, the park was officially opened in 1987 as a cultural heritage site. Its large expanse allows driving between various monuments.  

Leaving Muang Sing Historical Park, proceed next to the Wang Pho train station. Board a car for a 30-minute ride along a small segment of the Burma-Thailand railway, commonly known as the 'Death Railway'. With open windows, the old train cars rumble noisily though the countryside, passing small villages, farm land, attractive resorts and parts of the Kwai River. The ride may not be the most comfortable, but it offers fun and an interesting scenario while provoking thoughts about its painful history.

Upon disembarkation at the Tha Kilen train station, your vehicle awaits to return you to the Dheva Mantra Resort. A set-menu Thai dinner will be served at either the open-air Rice Barge or the hotel's air-conditioned restaurant, subject to weather conditions. A chance to experience Thai massage, Le Dheva Spa at the hotel offers you a choice of 60-minute Thai Traditional Massage or Foot Reflexology Massage.

Overnight accommodation is at the Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa - Kanchanaburi.

DAY TWO - Tuesday, March 3, 2014 - JEATH Museum/Bridge Over the River Kwai/Bangkok  

After breakfast and check-out, depart the hotel and head to the nearby JEATH War Museum. JEATH stands for Japan, England, America, Australia, Thailand and Holland, the nationalities of the Prisoners of War who were forced to build the infamous railway and River Kwai Bridge. The museum, located within the grounds of the Chai Chumphon temple, features an exact copy of the original bamboo huts that housed the POWs. Displays of graphic images, photographs and accounts written by former POWs serve as tribute to the terrible conditions under which men were forced to build the railway.  

Leaving the JEATH War Museum, continue on your drive to Kanchanaburi's major landmark, the Bridge on the River Kwai, Brought in parts from Java by the Japanese army, the bridge was reassembled by Allied prisoner of war labour under Japanese supervision. During 1945, the bridge was the target of frequent Allied bombing raids but was rebuilt after the war. Still in use today, the curved, black iron spans are the original sections and visitors can take a walk on the bridge, high above the River Kwai. Following a photo stop, there is time to browse the shops at the adjacent shopping complex offering local products and jewellery items.

Afterwards, proceed return journey of 1.5-hour drive to Bangkok and the Klong Toey pier, where the ship awaits your return.  

Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires a moderate amount of walking, much of which is over uneven ground, particularly at Muang Sing Historical Park. There are many steps to climb. This Land Adventure is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. There are three fairly high steps to board and disembark the train and the old train cars make for a bumpy, noisy ride, with open windows and no air conditioning. The train ride has to be considered for its historic value and interesting scenery rather than comfort. The sequence of visits and timings on Day 1 is subject to the train schedule. This Land Adventure involves touring outdoors and guests may be exposed to warm, humid and/or wet weather and insects; please pack accordingly. Lightweight clothing, comfortable shoes, a hat and sun protection are recommended and a small overnight bag only is suggested as porterage may not be available. Remember to bring your camera. A minimum number of guests is required to operate this programme.

Programme Includes:

·        One-night stay at the Dheva Mantra Resort & Spa - Kanchanaburi or similar

·        One breakfast, one lunch and one dinner (lunch and dinner include free flow soft drinks, juices and beer)

·        Snack box (ordered from the hotel) served on the coach during the return journey to Bangkok

·        A choice of 60-minute Thai Traditional Massage or Foot Reflexology Massage at Le Dheva Spa at the hotel

·        Ride on the 'Death Railway'

·        All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary.

Not Included:

Any meals and drinks not specified above, tips to drivers and tour guides, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance, and other personal items.

All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described.  If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure.  Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect.  All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea.   Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years of age and older.  This description is a general overview of this programme.  Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays, changes made by airlines, government activities, and weather, require.  The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.